Red Eared Slider Turtle Eggs Laid in Water – What to Do

Red eared slider turtle eggs laid in water could mean: she has no appropriate place to lay it, wants to eat it, or just wants to get rid of them.

Female turtles can and will lay eggs even without ever seeing a male turtle ever (but it will be unfertilized).

If they produce eggs but cannot lay them, they become ill and can die.

So, you should be excited your tortoise is laying eggs even though she had no place for it.

What to do with the eggs in Water?

First things first: dispose of the eggs immediately so they don’t foul up the enclosure. I assume this is a lone female red eared slider.

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Table of Contents

Do Red Eared Sliders Lay Eggs In Water?

By nature, Red-eared sliders lay eggs in the soil. A red-eared laying in water either has no place to lay or just wants to get rid of the eggs.

How Should An Appropriate Place For Laying Eggs Be?

An appropriate place for an egg-laying RES should be filled with soil, maybe mixed with coconut fiber or sand.

You can test the right mix by digging with a spoon. Once you dig and the walls remain stable and no soil slips into the hole; you’ve got the right one.

It should be warm. For instance, you could use a lamp like this one for the sun place. (In most cases each turtle needs its own sun place, so you need a second anyway.)

Lastly, you can dig some heat mat into the soil at one end of the place, so the turtle can pick the distance (and so the temperature). (Important to choose a mat that suits to turtle requirements.)

It must be roomy enough for the turtle to comfortably turn around. (For red eared sliders this could for example be 50 x 50 cm / 19,5 x 19,5 inch.)

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Some turtles are very smart: They want an egg-laying place, which is above the water level, so their eggs do not getting flooded.

red eared slider turtle eggs laid in water

How do I make Sure she Stays and Lays in the Egg Laying Box?

You should check for lack of appetite or changes in behavior, like her trying so hard to escape.

When that happens, you should keep trying to put her in the nesting box but wash her off with fresh dechlorinated water or you’ll make the mistake I did, put her in without washing her and have soil clogs the filter! Not fun to clean at all.

I recommend getting the nesting box adhered to the enclosure, that would make more sense since you wouldn’t have to keep picking her up and she could do it when she feels comfortable.

Also, if your turtle is nice enough, try and feel gently in the hip area above the back legs. If it feels lumpy, there’s eggs.

Additionally, you can carefully touch her skin and feel the eggs inside her belly. You should be very careful, because “in production” eggs have a very soft shell and could be damaged by humans. The right places to examine, you can see at this picture (The green arrow shows the right place, at the red arrows can you feel bones)

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But you should be aware: touching your turtle and searching for eggs is stressful for her. So you should do it not too often.

How Many Eggs Will She Lay?

These turtles will lay between 6 and 17 eggs.

How Long Will It Take Her to Lay Them?

As far as she can. In nature the turtle is vulnerable while she laying eggs, so she wants to make it as fast as she can.

How Can or Should I Redirect Her from Laying In The Water To Laying In Soil?

See, if you can optimize the “laying eggs” place. You cannot force her to lay her eggs on the ground.

How Can I Tell When She Is About to Lay Another Egg?

In many cases, your tortoise would let you know by:

  • Getting agitated
  • Wandering around to the egg place
  • She will test to dig the soil and maybe wet it to meet her needs

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